Freshly Pressed Memories

I’ve said before on this blog that blogging is like talking to yourself and then realizing someone heard you. It’s downright terrifying, actually.

When you mutter something under your breath on the Internet, the whole world can hear you, literally. But you don’t get to see their reaction. You can’t look at their facial expression. I hate that I can’t look at their facial expression. Normally, that tells me everything.

I don’t care about body language, or tone of voice, let me see your initial facial expression to something you just read or heard and that will tell me exactly what I need to know.

Here, we have a “like” button. We also have comments. But comments are all manipulated to sound a certain way. When we type, we’re always so conscious of how our words come across.

Do we end with an exclamation mark and sound excited, or do we put a period and sound serious? I don’t want to put a period and sound dull, but I already ended the last two sentences with an exclamation mark. 

Do we put a smiley face? Is our bloggership on a smiley face level?

A bloggership is a relationship between bloggers. Just made it up. Spread the word.

How many times can I go back and forth between typing the letter “H” and the letter “A” before they think I’m not actually laughing. 

So all of a sudden the people that heard you mutter under your breath are interacting with you.

Scary, I know. It gets worse.

Then I got Freshly Pressed and realized blogging isn’t scary; it’s stay-up-all-night-with-your-eyes-wide-open horrifying.

Well, at least that was the first time I was Freshly Pressed. It was September 4, 2013 when I got the email saying one of my posts was going to be featured.

All I remember is being stunned. No brain activity for at least a half hour, and no sudden movements. I was paralyzed with shock. And it goes back to the fact that I write stuff and then, oh yeah, someone actually reads it.

It wasn’t until two days later that my blog post was put on the Freshly Pressed page. When it was, oh man, I didn’t know what to do with myself.

No joke, I was shaking uncontrollably.

I think we have all imagined what our fifteen minutes of fame would be like. You know, lots of attention. You feel like you’re changing the world. Someone will call you up and ask you to appear on a talk show. Then, because you did so great on the talk show, someone wants to give you your own show. And within no time you have this: started from the bottom, rise to fame, story.

What you don’t imagine is everything else. One minute, you are unknown. And the next minute people are reading your deepest thoughts which, again, you thought no one would read. I was just muttering to myself.

It’s absolutely insane. For the first time in my life I fully understood why celebrities had agents. My phone wouldn’t stop making noises; it was like a newborn baby.

And then I settled in. I realized nothing had really changed except for the number of views on my blog. A month later, the views and comments on the post trailed off and all was back to normal.

Until seven months later, that is.

March 26, 2014.

I wrote a blog post about the Toronto Maple Leafs and threw it up on WordPress without a second thought.

A few hours later, I received an email welcoming me back to Freshly Pressed. I could not believe it was happening again. What did I do to deserve such treatment?

Although I didn’t sleep at all that night, I was prepared for Round Two, so to speak. Ring the bell, I’m ready.

I always found it ironic that my first Freshly Pressed post was about me missing school. My intention was to write about the Toronto Maple Leafs, but something came over me that night and I wrote about school instead. And then the second time I got Freshly Pressed I actually followed through and wrote about the Leafs.

Something about it is just poetic, I think. And the fact that both topics are two of the things that I love the most in the world, made it seem less like a coincidence and more of a “everything happens for a reason” type of moment. Maybe I’m reaching here.

So two days pass, again, March 28th arrives – a year ago, yesterday – and I’m up on the Freshly Pressed page again. It wasn’t scary. I wasn’t shaking uncontrollably. It was just, “Act like you’ve been here before, nothing will surprise you this time.”

Though I knew what to expect, it was still a bit overwhelming. I was fielding so many comments and fulfilling my Canadian duty to overuse the phrase, “Thank you!” while trying to give an original reply to every person that commented.

That was a big thing for me, both times I was Freshly Pressed. Treat every comment individually.

I didn’t want to sound like a recording and give the same canned response to everyone. I wanted people to know that if they took the time to comment, so would I. I wouldn’t resort to a copy and paste method.

I’m not sure how I did, but I tried my best.

My two Freshly Pressed posts sit at the top right side of my blog. I haven’t read either of them in a long time. I go back and read other posts, but not those. I’m not sure why. Sometimes I find myself starting to read them, but I stop myself after two paragraphs.

It’s uncomfortable.

They were the two most honest posts I’ve ever written and I know if I read them now, all the emotions will come rushing back.

I don’t need to re-live them; I wrote them. I felt them.

I want to remember those posts by how I felt when I initially wrote them, rather than looking back in hindsight and recreating the narrative in my own head. I owe myself that.

Being Freshly Pressed was an honour and a privilege that came about by pure luck and circumstance. It’s still surreal.

Don’t talk to yourself, people might hear you.
Keep talking to yourself, people will hear you.

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11 Responses to Freshly Pressed Memories

  1. I can’t imagine what that must be like. Be careful what you wish for? I try to keep my blog “employer friendly”, but I’ve had to keep some of my posts off of FaceBook for fear of offending some of my family members. (glad they can’t see my comments!). If you put something out into the Blogverse, you have to be ready for the consequence.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      It’s definitely an incredible experience and something I wish every blogger could experience at least once. It kinda is “be careful what you wish for” because none of us are ready for such attention to be placed on us, or our blog. We think we are, but then it happens and it’s just a huge wave coming right at you all of a sudden.

      Yeah that’s another scary thing – unintentionally offending people you didn’t expect to read your blog.


  2. Barb Knowles says:

    I want to be you when I grow up! I am looking forward to the day when, hopefully, a post of mine will be chosen for Freshly Pressed. We’ll see. But as we have established before, we have the exact same views on punctuation. Who would have thought that one could have a strong opinion on punctuation? !!!! Sound false and nerdy . But . at the end of a sentence can sound terse and judgmental. Like that. Ha is derisive . Haha is humorous (I hope because I use that a lot) . Hahaha sounds maniacal. Keep writing so I can read your blog, which I love. And keep reading mine, please, because I love that, too .

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul says:

      You’re so kind! For some reason this comment ended up in spam and I didn’t see it until now. It’s great to discuss punctuation and word usage with someone who doesn’t think it’s a weird topic to talk about! Keep writing and one day you’ll be surprised by a Freshly Pressed email, I know it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. All I can say Paul is keep breathing that rarefied air. :O)


  4. Barb Knowles says:

    I just realized that I think I’ve said “I want to be you when I grow up” twice. Funny the first time. If I say it a third time, you can still feel flattered, but might want to suggest that I visit my neurologist again.

    Liked by 1 person

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